HC Deb 22 May 1973 vol 857 cc195-6
3. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether, in view of the current dispute with the Spanish authorities, he proposes to increase provision for the defence of Gibraltar.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

No, Sir.

Mr. Janner

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the deep sense of isolation felt by the people of Gibraltar as a result of the Spanish activities, including the blockade? Is there not some way in which the defence budget could be used to help reduce that isolation, possibly by the provision of flights, or a subsidy on flights, to and from Gibraltar?

Mr. Gilmour

I was in Gibraltar recently and I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman about the sense of isolation. We will certainly look into his suggestion. He knows, however, that the defence budget is under considerable pressure.

Mr. Gorst

Can my hon. Friend say to what extent, if any, our defence arrangements in Gibraltar are dependent upon arrangements with NATO?

Mr. Gilmour

Some of our defence arrangements are closely involved with NATO since we are a member of that organisation. I do not think I can say any more than that.